Jump to content
By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans.

Does anyone else think we might have won the league under Bentiez this year?


The_Adder

Recommended Posts

With all the top teams struggling to break away from the pack and become the main challenger and with woeful start to the start under the Hodge (and I include the summer's transfer dealings in that) I really think this year could have been the year we not only challenged to the end of the season but actually went that one step further and won the league.

 

The way the summer's transfer dealings went was badly (which was basically shocking for a club who wants to be challenging with the players brought in by Roy probably just about good enough for a mid table side, bar Meireles who depending on who you believe maybe would have been bought anyway).

 

I genuinely think that Rafa would have sorted the striker problem out, or at least sorted as best he could given the resources available at the time.

 

Coupled with this there is no way he would have let Aquilani go on loan, which still winds me up now.

 

Also there is no way we would have ended up with Konchesky as 1st choice left back (that felt insane typing that), Poulsen or Brad Jones at all, which means money for a fairly decent back-up striker to Nando.

 

7th last year wasnt good enough, definitely, but this year I think Benitez giving the same backing as hodgson was in the summer (which wasnt much) would have sorted a few issues out, we may well have got Meireles anyway into the bargain too with Masch going and we could have had some starting potential containing him, Gerrard and Aquilani as the midfield three with the greatly improving Lucas to step in.

 

Just feels like it could have been his and our year but for those clowns and the words 'mutual consent'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 146
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Yes I think we could have won the league this season under Rafa.

 

But I thought we would win it every year under him and I was wrong every time.

 

This season is the first time since Houllier's last season where I haven't at any point believed we could win it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the very least, some of the self-created problems would not have been made. If he was able to confront the dressing room problems, Gerrard might have been lost, but Carragher would have certainly gone, leaving Benitez free to set up the team in the way that most of the squad is best suited for. Meireles might well have been signed anyway, given Liverpool first expressed interest in him in 2008. Benitez is reported to have said he was surprised by how little Benayoun went for, saying he'd have got £10m for him, which isn't unreasonable considering the length of contract he was still on.

 

This squad assumes all non-idiotic outgoings are the same, and no signings made under Hodgson are made other than Meireles, who is a plausible target given the above. It's probable the outgoing players, in particular Benayoun and Mascherano, would have gone for more, but I've not factored this in. With the prices secured under Hodgson, there would be a £10-15m profit which may be kept by the club, or made available for the manager. With the kind of prices secured by Benitez in the past, add between £5-10m to that figure. Without replacing Benitez with Hodgson, that will be another £5-10m that won't have been spent. Squad assumes worst case scenario of losing both Carragher and Gerrard. No numbers given for them, so make up your own transfer fees, or assume none as I've done here. Salarywise, calculated per year, £6m more would be spent on Benitez, Aquilani and Insua. There would be no Carragher, Gerrard, Cole, Poulsen, Konchesky and Jones, which would mean £20-22m less.

 

GK

Reina

Others, perhaps Gulacsi

 

FB

Johnson

Kelly

Insua

Another LB

 

CB

Kyrgiakos

Agger

Skrtel

Ayala

Wilson

 

CM

Lucas

Aquilani

Meireles

Spearing

Shelvey

 

AM

Kuyt

Babel

Maxi

Jovanovic

Pacheco

 

CF

Torres

Ngog

Eccleston

 

CBs keep a high line. Attacking full backs. CMs/DMs actively pressing in midfield. CAM has free role. Wide players playing relatively narrow. CF acting as the forward focus, or looking to be released, depending on the individual.

 

Additional moneys which may be available: £15-25m, plus whatever additional money could have been got for Benayoun and Mascherano, plus whatever transfer fees could have been got for Carragher and Gerrard if you assume they're gone.

Salary differences, calculated per year: £14-16m less if you assume Carragher and Gerrard are gone. The saving goes down to £8-10m if Gerrard stays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite Rafa's proven pedigree over his career I just don't think you can airbrush out Rafa's 'form' over the last year and a half. For whatever reasons, he hit a managerial 'wall', and lost the control and composure he once had. When we hit that terrible slump last autumn, I expected that he'd he'd find a way out of it. We all did. The revival never came though, and even when we'd win a game or two and the 'corner' was there to be turned, we'd just hit another slump.

 

Everyone said 'but Rafa teams always come strong in the last third of the season', but that one didn't. Coming into this season with Inter, we were told this was a reborn Rafa, free of the shackles of his Anfield working conditions, ready to take on the job he deserved of managing Europe's 'best side' last season. What's happening so far in Italy is near enough a carbon copy of our season last year, but this time he's managing that country's best side, and despite the injuries, the excuses for being so far off the pace are fewer.

 

The Rafa of a few years back could have taken on the depressed and bedraggled Liverpool outfit that began this seasons campaign and got them back into the top 4. definitely capable of it. Win the league with this lot ? No chance. He was good, but not that good. The 2010 model Rafa is a pale shadow and I'm reasonably convinced would have matched Hodgson point for point this season, and no more. The sow's ear that was last season, was never going to suddenly become a silk purse this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GK

Reina

Others, perhaps Gulacsi

 

FB

Johnson

Kelly

Insua

Another LB

 

CB

Kyrgiakos

Agger

Skrtel

Ayala

Wilson

 

CM

Lucas

Aquilani

Meireles

Spearing

Shelvey

 

AM

Kuyt

Babel

Maxi

Jovanovic

Pacheco

 

CF

Torres

Ngog

Eccleston

 

 

Pretty much what we have now except Cole, Jones and Poulsen who rarely play and Konchesky who shouldn't play. Plus we are a fair few million up enabling the top left back and striker we all wanted and whatever money Gerrard fetched (if he did leave) would be available for a top class replacement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite Rafa's proven pedigree over his career I just don't think you can airbrush out Rafa's 'form' over the last year and a half. For whatever reasons, he hit a managerial 'wall', and lost the control and composure he once had. When we hit that terrible slump last autumn, I expected that he'd he'd find a way out of it. We all did. The revival never came though, and even when we'd win a game or two and the 'corner' was there to be turned, we'd just hit another slump.

 

Everyone said 'but Rafa teams always come strong in the last third of the season', but that one didn't. Coming into this season with Inter, we were told this was a reborn Rafa, free of the shackles of his Anfield working conditions, ready to take on the job he deserved of managing Europe's 'best side' last season. What's happening so far in Italy is near enough a carbon copy of our season last year, but this time he's managing that country's best side, and despite the injuries, the excuses for being so far off the pace are fewer.

 

The Rafa of a few years back could have taken on the depressed and bedraggled Liverpool outfit that began this seasons campaign and got them back into the top 4. definitely capable of it. Win the league with this lot ? No chance. He was good, but not that good. The 2010 model Rafa is a pale shadow and I'm reasonably convinced would have matched Hodgson point for point this season, and no more. The sow's ear that was last season, was never going to suddenly become a silk purse this.

I don't doubt the constant fighting of the last few years has taken it out of Rafa, and I think taking the Inter job was a mistake - better to recharge and relax, though only he knows what is best for him.

 

Having said that, it's strange how one year with us is counted more than the previous 4, and Inter had serious problems way before Rafa arrived. Massive debts, aging team and the weight of expectation made it look a poisoned chalice to start with, and now the injuries (potentially related to the aging team and the World Cup) have had a catastrophic effect on their season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite Rafa's proven pedigree over his career I just don't think you can airbrush out Rafa's 'form' over the last year and a half. For whatever reasons, he hit a managerial 'wall', and lost the control and composure he once had. When we hit that terrible slump last autumn, I expected that he'd he'd find a way out of it. We all did. The revival never came though, and even when we'd win a game or two and the 'corner' was there to be turned, we'd just hit another slump.

 

Everyone said 'but Rafa teams always come strong in the last third of the season', but that one didn't. Coming into this season with Inter, we were told this was a reborn Rafa, free of the shackles of his Anfield working conditions, ready to take on the job he deserved of managing Europe's 'best side' last season. What's happening so far in Italy is near enough a carbon copy of our season last year, but this time he's managing that country's best side, and despite the injuries, the excuses for being so far off the pace are fewer.

 

The Rafa of a few years back could have taken on the depressed and bedraggled Liverpool outfit that began this seasons campaign and got them back into the top 4. definitely capable of it. Win the league with this lot ? No chance. He was good, but not that good. The 2010 model Rafa is a pale shadow and I'm reasonably convinced would have matched Hodgson point for point this season, and no more. The sow's ear that was last season, was never going to suddenly become a silk purse this.

 

Yes, you don't like him, we get it.

We wouldn't have lost to Northampton and Blackpool, and even at our worst, he have won, or at least drawn the derby, he just had the measure of Moyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty much what we have now except Cole, Jones and Poulsen who rarely play and Konchesky who shouldn't play. Plus we are a fair few million up enabling the top left back and striker we all wanted and whatever money Gerrard fetched (if he did leave) would be available for a top class replacement.

 

I didn't want to go too far off the beaten track, so I just assumed a scenario with as few changes as possible, and listed the additional money that would be available for people who want to argue it further. Something that would be significantly different would be the tactics, which given Benitez's track record would certainly involve a high line and active pressing. With this in mind, and with the additional money available, people can debate what changes there would be in the team, and how it would do in this year's league.

 

A plausible scenario with Gerrard staying would have a £25m profit in transfers after Meireles is accounted for, with £8m (per year) in salary savings. If Gerrard went for £30m, which assumes a low estimate, that would be £55m profit and £14m salary savings. One of the factors which irked NESV was the long contracts of the new signings, but I've not factored in the complete contracts, so salary savings are calculated per year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you don't like him, we get it.

We wouldn't have lost to Northampton and Blackpool, and even at our worst, he have won, or at least drawn the derby, he just had the measure of Moyes.

 

it's like Reading & Barnsley never happened...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't doubt the constant fighting of the last few years has taken it out of Rafa, and I think taking the Inter job was a mistake - better to recharge and relax, though only he knows what is best for him.

 

Having said that, it's strange how one year with us is counted more than the previous 4, and Inter had serious problems way before Rafa arrived. Massive debts, aging team and the weight of expectation made it look a poisoned chalice to start with, and now the injuries (potentially related to the aging team and the World Cup) have had a catastrophic effect on their season.

 

That 'one year' is the most current one though. It does count for a lot. Especially as it wasn't just a step backwards, it was an unmitigated disaster of a season. All these arguments can be strongly stated in either direction IMO. As you say, the man had a pedigree, so why shouldn't he recover his mojo ? Thing is, it's not something anyone could justifiably be confident about. I think to keep Rafa would have been a massive risk, knowing that after a terrible season any kind of bad start and the pressure would be so immense he'd have to go. Then what ? We face being managerless a third of a way into a season with possibly no potential candidates ready to take over.

 

Sacking him was an equal risk, because at his best he was a top 4 premiership manager, and there weren't any proven candidates with a similar standing out there. My view, and I remain confident in it, was that Rafa was as aware as the directors that choosing to stay would represent a substantial personal risk for him. He would have known have his reputation would look if he started the 2010/2011 season badly and got sacked before Christmas. At least with a new club he's got the 'work in progress' excuse. That wouldn't have washed had he stayed with us.

 

Given the lack of great candidates out there I think sacking him was a marginal decision, but one I'd have made, and I think one that ultimately Rafa kind of wanted (or at least his desire to stay was only going to be on terms that the board at that time couldn't deliver).

 

Finally, I take your points about the downside's of the Inter job, but jesus, we aren't exactly cutting RH any slack for what he's taken on at LFC, which makes Inter look like a picnic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We wouldn't have lost to Northampton and Blackpool,

 

Well we might of

I think what we can all say for certain however, is that we would have avoided the embarassments of Man City away and the derby

But we wouldn't have won the league. its just annoying that we could have if we'd have kept building like we should have. Everyone is rubbish this year

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be fair Reading and Barnsley are not Northampton.

 

and to be fairer still, they both beat us without resorting to a penalty shoot out

 

oh and we had close to full strength teams out against them too, unlike Northampton

Edited by Cobs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That 'one year' is the most current one though. It does count for a lot. Especially as it wasn't just a step backwards, it was an unmitigated disaster of a season. All these arguments can be strongly stated in either direction IMO. As you say, the man had a pedigree, so why shouldn't he recover his mojo ? Thing is, it's not something anyone could justifiably be confident about. I think to keep Rafa would have been a massive risk, knowing that after a terrible season any kind of bad start and the pressure would be so immense he'd have to go.

 

No-one can ever be absolutely confident about anything. However, Benitez did have history on his side.

 

Valencia, La Liga Primera Division

2001-2: Champions

2002-3: 5th

2003-4: Champions

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...